Maadi Friday Finals fiercly fought
The first finals day of the 2014 Aon Maadi Cup (New Zealand Secondary School Rowing Championships) got underway at Lake Ruataniwha with competitive racing across all 24 medal finals.
The finals began with the boys under-17 single sculls where gold medal was won comfortably by Onslow College’s Hayden Robertson in a time of 7:37.73. James Hargest’s sculler Cameron Perkins put in a great fight from the outside lane claiming the silver medal in 7:39.34. Bronze went to Lindisfarne sculler Tom Mackintosh.
Napier Boys High School lead through the first half of the boys under-18 pair final, Waimea and Mt Albert Grammar School were up there with them and pushing for the second and thirds spots. Waimea gained on Napier through the third quarter of the race, Waimea made a move and pushed ahead with 500m to go. Waimea’s pair of Sean Ducray and Sam Johnston took Gold in 7:05.03 with a convincing nine second clearwater lead on Edwin Laver and Liam Kitchin from Napier Boys High School. Christchurch Boys High School crew of Tom Clyma and Angus Coull challenged in the last few hundred metres and managed to pick up the bronze ahead of Mt Albert Grammar who faded in the final quarter of the race place fourth outside of medal contention. It was such a tight race for the silver and bronze medals that a photo finish was required to determine the second and third placings. The first and second placed crews in this event also gain an automatic trial for the New Zealand junior team.
In the girls under-18 double sculls St Peter’s School (Cambridge) and Nga Tawa Diocesan were the leaders heading through the first 500m. The two crews were going stroke for stroke, but Nga Tawa proved too strong pushing a length ahead with 500m to go. St Peter’s School 1 were desperately trying to gain on Nga Tawa in the final sprint, but they in the end all they could do was hold off their fellow school crew from St Peter’s for the silver medal. Nga Tawa’s Georgia Nugent-O’Leary and Jackie Gowler won over a length up in 7:36.68 while St Peter’s rounded out the medal dais with Jessica Brougham and Samantha Voss grabbed the silver, with Madeleine Minnett and Carly Baars taking the bronze.
St Peter’s School (Cambridge) and Rangi Ruru got the jump at the start of the girls novice eight exhibition event. Columba College’s eight pulled up level pegging heading through the first 500m. St Peter’s put in a massive move heading into the 1000m, pushing to a full length and half lead over the rest of the field. Columba were holding a firm grasp on the silver, bronze was a fight between St Margaret’s and Epsom Girls Grammar. Epsom Girls charged at Columba for the silver with 200m to go, but Columba just edged them by a canvas. St Peter’s took gold in 7:12.03, over ten seconds ahead of Columba and Epsom Girls Grammar.
Hamilton Boys High School flew out the starting blocks in the Boys under-17 eight final to take the early lead. Christ’s College moved at the 500m pulling up level with Hamilton Boys. With the top three crews of Hamilton, Christ’s and St Paul’s with less than a canvas between them with 750m gone it was anyone’s race. Christ’s College made a big move through the half-way point which broke the field apart, St Paul’s were back by only half a length. Hamilton Boy’s dropped back to the third spot with St Bede’s chasing strongly. Christ’s College bolted to a full length lead into the final sprint winning gold in a time of 6:05.81. The strong and full field saw Christ’s College, St Paul’s Collegiate and St Bede’s College podium, with Hamilton fading to fourth. This boys under-17 eights race provides a good indication as to who to look out for the 2015 Maadi regatta at Lake Karapiro and who will be the main challengers for the boys under-18 eights.
Whakatane High School were strong in the sculling events where they picked up to two golds in the boys under-15 double and the boys under-18 quad and both in very convincing fashion. In the quad King’s College were nearly six seconds back for silver with St Peter’s holding onto the bronze after a strong challenge from St Andrews. Whakatane also picked up silver in the boys under-16 quad behind Marlborough Boys College.
There was nothing separating the crews in the girls under-18 pair through the first 200m, Craighead Diocesan was the first to break away, making a strong move through the 1000m and gained half a length on Chilton St James, but the Timaru crew just couldn’t hang on the lead. Chilton St James also faded away in the last half of the race with the duo from Rangi Ruru taking them head on with 500m to go. Rangi Ruru threw everything they had left in the final sprint and pushed themselves to gold, winning in a time of 7:49.00 ahead of Waikato Diocesan while Chilton St James took the bronze. Lucy Hutchinson and Kate Hayman from Rangi Ruru and Annaliesa O’Leary and Laura Kelly from Waikato Diocesan have gained an automatic trial for the New Zealand junior team for their first and second placings in this event.
In the girls under-16 eight no crew got dropped through the first 500m making it an extremely exciting contest. Christchurch Girls High school was the first crew to make a move and was leading out St Margaret’s and Rangi Ruru crews through the halfway mark. St Margaret’s were reeling the Christchurch Girls Crew in the third quarter, and with only 500m to go, St Margaret’s were only a quarter of a boat length behind. St Margaret’s were going stroke for stroke with Christchurch Girls, St Margaret’s were pulling them up inch by inch into the final few hundred metres and finally pulled in front by just a canvas. St Margaret’s kept their momentum and grabbed the gold with a quarter of a boat length to Christchurch Girls High School who took the silver, with Rangi Ruru managing bronze.
The crew from Hamilton Boys High school took charge of the boys under-18 novice eight final. It was a real race for the silver and bronze medal with four crews having a good crack at it. Hamilton Boys finished in 6:31.63 for gold, two lengths up on St Bede’s who surged for the line taking silver by a canvas, while bronze was snatched by St Paul’s Collegiate just ahead of Christ’s College and Shirley Boys High School.
Napier Boys High School and Hamilton Boys High School were putting up a real challenge for the Springbok Shield in the Boys under-18 four final. The top two crews were matching the stroke rate from the 500m to the halfway point and were having a tussle as to which bowball was pushing in front each stroke. St Bede’s were back half a boat length but lifted their rating in the hope to pull the leaders in. Into the final 500m sprint Christ’s pushed St Bede’s out of medal contention with a lift in stroke rating. Napier pushed out to a commanding two boat length lead for gold, while silver was won by Hamilton Boys High School who had just under a boat length lead on Christ’s College.
Westlake got off to an outstanding start in the girls under-18 four picking up the lead ahead of St Margaret’s and just kept powering away with no pressure coming from the other finalists. St Margaret’s were racing for silver, with Waikato Diocesan battling them with 500m to go. Waikato Diocesan were patient and just kept creeping up on St Margaret’s. Westlake obliterated the field winning in a time of 7:51.60, with Waikato Diocesan finishing in 8:02.78 for silver, and St Margaret’s for bronze in 8:04.59.